IN THIS ISSUE: Across the country, reverberations of strong, pro-life conviction showed themselves in Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Maryland, Arizona, South Dakota, West Virginia, Alabama, Nebraska and Texas.
Oklahoma House Puts Life Ahead of Politically
Correct Treatments and Off-Label Drug Misuse
At left: AUL's Oklahoma Director April Miller and Rep. Randy Grau.
At Right: Rep. George Faught (OK Legislature Video)
Oklahomans showed themselves strong for life when their state house voted overwhelmingly to ban destructive embryo research. Sending a resounding message, the chamber voted 86-8 to pass AUL’s model bill banning destroying embryos for research. The bill now heads to the state senate where Sen. Steve Russell will sponsor it.
One of the foremost defenders of the bill on the floor was Rep. John Enns, a paraplegic who is confined to a wheelchair with a spinal cord injury due to a farming accident. In the days prior to the vote, high-paid lobbyists for the opposing groups led an all-out fight to kill the bill. AUL’s State Director April Miller worked around the clock to ensure the bill received an up-or-down vote.
“This effort is both pro-life and pro-science,” noted AUL Action president and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “The research on adult stem cell use has yielded great results and effective treatments. It is not only wrong, it is unnecessary to destroy embryos to pursue stem cell research.”
Oklahoma also led the way on an issue getting more attention in recent years: off-label uses of abortion-causing drugs. The state house voted 83 to 5 in favor of OK HB 1970, sponsored by Rep. Randy Grau, that requires abortion-inducing drugs be distributed in accordance with the FDA-approved drug label and does not allow dangerous off-label use by abortion providers seeking to maximize their profits at the expense of women’s health.
As this bill moves to the state senate, look for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to fight it. Prescribing off-label uses of abortion-causing drugs is one way that the abortion industry is currently pushing their deadly product.
“Political correctness can make people blind to the most effective stem cell research and the dangers that women face when taking abortion-causing drugs alone and without a doctor’s care,” Dr. Yoest observed.
New Hampshire Stands with Parents
to Protect Children from Predators
Dr. Charmaine Yoest commended the New Hampshire House of Representatives for passing HB 329-FN, an AUL-drafted measure that requires parental notification before an abortion may be performed on an underage girl living at home, and called on the New Hampshire Senate to do the same.
Representative Kathy Souza introduced HB 329-FN in January for the purpose of requiring parental notice prior to a minor obtaining an abortion. The bill reinstates some requirements from an earlier New Hampshire law that was enjoined in 2003 by a federal court. Attorneys with AUL drafted modifications to the previous law to ensure its constitutionality under United States Supreme Court precedent.
“We’ve seen sexual predators take advantage of young girls and try to hide their crimes through abortion,” noted Dr. Yoest. “This bill is constitutionally sound and desperately needed for the protection of minors and their unborn babies.”
Pregnancy Centers Win Again
In another rejection of abortion advocates' attempt to muzzle pregnancy resource centers, a federal judge ruled last week that the Montgomery County Board in Maryland cannot enforce onerous signage regulations. At issue: the right of pro-life Americans to speak as their consciences dictate.
The county board had deemed that pro-life pregnancy centers had to post specialized signs that noted the absence of medical staff and had to say that the county encourages pregnant women to consult with a licensed medical provider. This served as a requirement that the pregnancy centers essentially post advertisements for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Mark Rienzi, an attorney allied with the Alliance Defense Fund and Americans United for Life, helped fight the law in court. In an email, he stated, “We're very happy with the judge's ruling. The county has no business taking over the walls of pro-life pregnancy centers to tell women to go elsewhere.”
A law similar to this one was struck down by a federal court in Baltimore, Maryland. Another one recently passed the New York City Council and was signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Pro-life lawyers have vowed to challenge the New York City law in court as well.
Coming to a State Near You?
In the meantime, states continue to move ahead with resolutions drafted by AUL honoring the work of pro-life pregnancy centers. Such resolutions have already been passed this year in Arizona, South Dakota and West Virginia. They are pending in several states including Alabama, Nebraska and Texas.
In the News
CBS News and the Wall Street Journal note AUL’s leadership in advancing a life agenda at the state level. Click here to read what AUL Vice President of Government Affairs Dan McConchie had to say about pro-life victories.
The Des Moines Register, in full campaign mode as prospective Presidential candidates head to Iowa, notes that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is proud to have been at the top of AUL’s Life List early in his first term. Click here to read more.
The American Independent took note of AUL’s release of Defending Life, calling it “a comprehensive guide of model legislation.” To read more, click here.
Tracking Pro-Life Victories: As a service to those interested in the life issue, AUL developed a Legislative Watch List for the 50 states. This tracks all life-related legislation, not just bills AUL has developed or worked on. Watch for a bill’s current status here.